The Appeals Process
Information regarding appeals
Can a student appeal against the grade they have been awarded?
Yes, but before doing anything else, please see the information we have provided about the detailed and robust process we have been through to arrive at these grades. Visit the process and quality assurance page for more information.
What if, having read the details of how grades were assigned, a student still wishes to appeal against the grade they have been awarded?
Firstly, have a conversation with one of the members of staff who are available on results day to discuss your concerns. If you are unable to do so, please email MWindmill@gumleyhouse.com and the most appropriate person will respond to you to arrange a conversation.
If a student still wishes to proceed with placing an appeal after first discussing with a member of the Leadership Team or their Head of Year, how does the appeals process work?
The appeals process is set out in two stages, the first is a ‘Centre review’ which considers whether an administrative or procedural error has been made, and the second is an ‘Exam board review’ which will consider whether the academic judgement made about a student’s work was reasonable or not.
It is important to note than any appeal can result in grades going up, down or staying the same.
What is a stage 1 Centre Review?
This stage is managed by the school. An official form (available on request via MWindmill@gumleyhouse.com), must be submitted to the school. At this stage, an appeal can be made on the grounds that the school has:
- failed to follow our own procedures properly or consistently in arriving at the result, or;
- made an administrative error in relation to the result.
We hope that the detailed quality assurance processes we have been through reassures you that we have minimised the opportunities for errors and that we have ensured consistency in our approach at every stage.
- If a student feels their grade is wrong, they should speak to their school or college first to check if there was a mistake in determining or submitting the grade.
- If there was a mistake, schools and colleges can submit a revised grade to the exam board to consider.
What is a stage 2 Exam Board Review?
All stage 2 appeals must first go through the stage 1 appeal process, above. If the stage 1 process has not resolved the concern, an official form is then completed by the student and submitted by the school to the exam board.
A stage 2 appeal is made on the grounds that a student believes the school made an ‘unreasonable exercise of academic judgement in the choice of evidence from which to determine the grade and/or the determination of that grade from the evidence.’
It is important to note that a student will need to set-out in writing the basis for their appeal. Students will have to provide:
- an explanation of the perceived administrative or procedural error: what it is that the student considers the school has failed to do, why that was a failure to follow our procedures, and why that failure was important to the determination of the grade. Or;
- an explanation of their concerns about the evidence used to determine their grade, or;
- an explanation of their concerns about how their grade was determined using the evidence.
It is also important to note that the grade awarded will only be considered unreasonable if it is felt that there is clear evidence that the grade awarded should have been higher or lower. Specifically:
“...the independent reviewer will consider whether the original Teacher Assessed Grade decision was reasonable. The independent reviewer will not consider whether they would have given an alternative grade or whether an alternative grade could also reasonably have been given.
The independent reviewer will consider whether the original Teacher Assessed Grade decision was reasonable on its own terms, not if any alternative proposition for the Teacher Assessed Grade or evidence put forward by the student, would be a more appropriate exercise of academic judgement.
There may be a difference of opinion as to the assessed grade without there being an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement. The reviewer will only conclude that there has been an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement if the Teacher Assessed Grade was clearly wrong – i.e. there was no basis upon which the grade could properly have been given.”
(JCQ guide to appeals).
The Exam Board Review considers:
- if there was an error in the way the school or college followed or applied its procedure for determining their grade
- if the school did not make a reasonable judgement when deciding which evidence to use to determine their grade
- if the school did not make a reasonable judgement about their grade based on the evidence gathered.
If an appeal is submitted to an exam board, schools and colleges will need to supply the complete evidence in support of the student’s grade.
What is the timeline for appeals?
Priority appeals are for students applying to higher education who did not attain their Firm choice (i.e. the offer they accepted as their first choice) and who wish to appeal an A-level or other level 3 qualification result. Priority appeals must be submitted to the exam board by Monday 16 August. Students who choose to appeal should contact their preferred university or college straight away to make them aware of the situation. UCAS have extended their deadline for students to meet any conditions of their offer to 7th September to allow more time for appeals.
All non-priority appeals must be logged with the exam board by Friday 3rd September.
The deadlines below are set to allow us the time to prepare for appeals to the exam boards within the published time-frames. Due to the summer holidays, we are limited as to when appeals can be processed by our staff, therefore it is vital that any appeals are registered within the windows detailed below. Appeals registered outside the dates below may not be processed.
Key dates for priority appeals:
Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th August: Window for students to request a priority appeal
Tuesday 10th to Tuesday 17th August: Window for students to conduct stage 1 centre reviews for priority appeals
Tuesday 10th to Friday 20th August: Window for students to conduct stage 2 exam board reviews (for priority appeals)
Key dates for non-priority appeals:
Tuesday 10th August to Wednesday 1st September: Window for students to request a centre review
Tuesday 10th August to Friday 10th September: Window for schools to conduct stage 1 centre reviews
Tuesday 10th August to Friday 17th September: Window for schools to submit stage 2 exam board reviews
Please note that we may not respond to emails regarding non-priority appeals between the 21 August and the 1st September. Any non-priority appeal made in this window will be picked up and processed on Wednesday 1st September.
Will students be able to sit exams in the Autumn?
If students are disappointed with their grade and would like to improve it, Ofqual has confirmed that exams will take place in the Autumn (in October for A Levels and in November and December for GCSEs).
The exams will be in a standard format and no adaptations will be made (other than reasonable adjustments for students eligible for such adjustments). All subjects will be assessed by exam except Art & Design which will be assessed by a task set and marked by the exam board.
The exams will assess students in the same way as had been planned for exams in summer 2021, including assessing a reduced number of topics for GCSE English literature and history. If a student gets a higher grade in the autumn exam than in the summer, a request can be made for the exam board to provide a new certificate showing the higher grade.
Please note the following deadlines for registering for an Autumn series exam.
A Level: 7th September (Exam window 4th – 15th October)
GCSE: 1st October (Exams window 1st Nov – 2nd December)
If students wish to be entered for an exam in the Autumn series then they should email LO'Sullivan@gumleyhouse.com, our Exams Officer. Ms O'Sullivan will ensure this happens.